Lesson One: A Rhetorical Approach to Writing


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Lesson One: A Rhetorical Approach to Writing

  1. 1. Lesson One A Rhetorical Approach to Writing Neijiang Teachers College - March 12, 2007 - Brent A. Simoneaux
  2. 2. Course Objectives <ul><li>To improve our writing in English </li></ul><ul><li>- Content will focus on both theoretical and practical concerns </li></ul><ul><li>To enable us to better help our students </li></ul><ul><li>- Content will focus on methodological concerns </li></ul><ul><li>- Exchange ideas, teaching practices, and culture </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introductions <ul><li>On a piece of paper please write the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Name (Hanzi, Pinyin, English) </li></ul><ul><li>How many years you have been teaching </li></ul><ul><li>List the top two or three problems or frustrations you have when writing in English </li></ul><ul><li>List two or three writing-related subjects you would like to learn more about (ie research, thesis statements, creating effective sentences, etc) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Today’s Objectives <ul><li>To gain a renewed understanding and appreciation of the theoretical underpinnings of writing in a foreign language </li></ul><ul><li>To be able to define ‘rhetoric’ </li></ul><ul><li>To be able to apply rhetorical concepts in concrete situations </li></ul>
  5. 5. Definition <ul><li>Rhetoric (n) `re-tə-rik : </li></ul><ul><li>“ The skill of using language in speech or writing in a special way that influences or persuades people” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Five Assumptions About Rhetoric <ul><li>Rhetoric is both a field of humane study and a pragmatic art ; that is, we can read about it as well as practice it. </li></ul><ul><li>The practice of rhetoric is culturally determined . </li></ul><ul><li>When we practice rhetoric, we use language to ‘ induce cooperation ’ in an audience. </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of rhetoric, inducing cooperation, involves more that mere persuasion , narrowly defined. Discourse that affects an audience, that informs, moves, delights, and teaches, has a rhetorical aim. </li></ul><ul><li>Rhetoric implies choices , for both the writer and the audience. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dimensions of Language Cultural Dimension Syntagmatic Dimension Paradigmatic Dimension
  8. 8. Paradigmatic Dimension <ul><li>Vertical dimension of language </li></ul><ul><li>Lexical choices </li></ul>Paradigmatic Dimension
  9. 9. Syntagmatic Dimension <ul><li>Horizontal dimension of language </li></ul><ul><li>Syntax (order) </li></ul>Syntagmatic Dimension
  10. 10. Cultural Dimension <ul><li>Reader’s cultural expectations or assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot see this dimension on paper </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural baggage </li></ul>Cultural Dimension
  11. 11. The Bottom Line <ul><li>Writing is the skill of conscientiously choosing. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Writing Triangle Subject Purpose Audience
  13. 13. Writing Triangle <ul><li>Subject: What you are writing about </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: Why you are writing </li></ul><ul><li>Audience: Who your reader is </li></ul><ul><li>Audience is usually the most difficult to make choices about when writing in a foreign language. </li></ul><ul><li>We must read in order to understand how to make these choices. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Writing Assignment <ul><li>Write one paragraph (7 – 10 sentences) in which you candidly discuss any frustrations and problems you may have when writing in English. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Website <ul><li>http://njtcteachers.blogspot.com </li></ul>
  16. 16. Next time: <ul><li>Contrastive Rhetoric: </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern and Western </li></ul>